Effect of Varicocele and Its Treatment on Testosterone in Hypogonadal Men with Varicocele: Review of the Literature

ÇAYAN S., AKBAY E., Saylam B., Kadioglu A.

BALKAN MEDICAL JOURNAL, vol.37, no.3, pp.121-124, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 37 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.4274/balkanmedj.galenos.2020.2020.1.85
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.121-124
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Varicocele might cause deterioration in Leydig cell functions, and it is a significant risk factor for hypogonadism. Some controversial issues have been raised in the treatment of hypogonadal men with varicoceles. Symptomatic hypogonadal men with varicoceles have two options: testosterone replacement therapy or varicocele treatment. Both approaches have some advantages and disadvantages. This review summarizes the effect of varicoceles on total plasma testosterone level and addresses whether varicocele repair is effective to improve testosterone levels in hypogonadal men with varicoceles. Experience from large clinical studies in the literature suggests that varicocele repair may increase serum testosterone level in men with varicoceles and testosterone deficiency. Varicocele repair could be offered to men with clinically palpable varicocele and hypogonadism. As the treatment method, microsurgical varicocele repair could be preferred to provide the best improvement. Another advantage of varicocele repair for hypogonadism, instead of exogenoti, testosterone treatment, is its ability to preserve the fertility status in men who may desire a child in the future. However, further studies are required to clarify varicocel-related Leydig cell dysfunction and to advise hypogonadal patients about the sufficient effectiveness of varicocele repair.